Berlin in the 20th century: The unique history of Berlin in this "short" century could hardly be more dramatic - nor could its impact on the history of the entire world between the Great Seminal Catastrophe of 1914 and the Turnaround of 1989. World War I, the reign of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, World War II and the Cold War were all intertwined with Berlin. Yes, even Lenin's rise to power and the subsequent spread of communism in half of the bipolar world had its outset in Berlin - but ironically also its ending. Until the fall of the Wall, Berlin was a lonesome island pretty far away in the "Red Sea" behind the Iron Curtain - which ran from the Baltic to (initially) the Mediterranean and on German soil separated the FRG (West) from the GDR (East). After World War II, Germany was divided into four occupation zones: three western (USA, Great Britain and France) and one eastern (USSR / Russia). In 1949, two German states emerged from these zones and were firmly aligned in the Western and the Eastern Bloc respectively (NATO and Warsaw Pact). Facing each other, hostile and armed to the teeth, with nuclear weapons until the Turnaround. The reunification of Germany was not envisioned.